Florida has a very serious and harsh stance on charges involving illegal sexual acts. The main purpose of the law is to protect innocent victims from predators and make the state a safer place. However, there are some instances in which exaggerations or false accusations have occurred.
Alleged sex crimes offenders not only face severe social judgment, but they also can be punished with jail time and fines. Additionally, in Florida, alleged offenders convicted of sexual offenses that are felonies against minors are required to register as a sex offender. With this being the case, having the right criminal defense attorney representing you is paramount in fighting the charges and moving on with your life.
Tallahassee Sex Crimes Defense Lawyer
If you have been charged with a sex crime in Leon County or the surrounding areas, an experienced Tallahassee sexual offense attorney at Pumphrey Law can analyze the facts of your case and find an applicable defense. The attorneys at Pumphrey Law can work to have your charges reduced your charge or dismissed.
The attorneys at Pumphrey Law are familiar with Florida’s sexual offense laws, and can help you clear your name. They understand the severity of the charges, and they can help you get your life back on the right track.
Pumphrey Law represents clients throughout Tallahassee and the surrounding areas of North Florida including Monticello in Jefferson County, Crawfordville in Wakulla County, Quincy in Gadsden County and Bristol in Liberty County. Contact Pumphrey Law at (850) 681-7777 for a free consultation.
Florida Sex Crimes Information Center
- Common Florida Sexual Offenses
- Sexual Offenses Specific to Children
- Penalties for Sex Crimes in Florida
- Other Possible Repercussions for Sex Crimes
- Sex Crime Resources in Florida
Florida law governs sex crimes in different ways. There are various offenses that can be considered sex crimes, and the penalties vary depending on the offense and the situation. The attorneys at Pumphrey Law understand the sensitive nature of the charges, and they use their experience to help clients accused of sexual crimes. Some of the most common sexual offenses in Florida include:
Rape — This offense generally falls into the category of sexual battery under the Florida Statutes § 794.011. However, under provisions of the Florida Statutes, rape also can be defined as sexual violence. It can include any felony where a sexual act has been committed or attempted.
Rape/sexual battery offenses are felonies. The degree of the charges often depends on factors such as the age and condition of the victim, if there was the use of force and the relationship of the offender to the victim. When the act is an instance of gang rape, known as sexual battery by multiple perpetrators in Fla. Stat. § 794.011, the offense is reclassified to be one degree higher.
Sexual battery against someone who is 12 years old or older likely would be a first-degree felony. Someone who commits sexual battery against another person over the age of 12 and uses a deadly weapon can be convicted of a life felony. A person who commits sexual battery against someone under the age of 12 commits a capital felony.
Sexual Assault — This offense is also defined as sexual violence under Florida Statutes § 784.046. This also extends to sexual battery, which, under Florida Statutes § 794.011, is defined as a sexual crime that includes anything that is oral, anal or vaginal penetration, or touching, by any object that is not for any medical purpose.
Exposure of Sexual Organs — According to Florida Statutes § 800.03, it is unlawful to expose one’s sexual organs in public in an indecent manner or to be naked in public. It is outlined in Florida Statutes § 800.02 as a first-degree misdemeanor.
Lewd and Lascivious Acts — A person can be charged with lewd and lascivious acts if he or she engages in crude and indecent behavior or commit sexually charged conduct, according to Florida Statute 800.02. A conviction for this offense can result in a misdemeanor of the second degree.
Sexual offenses have harsh penalties and a strong social stigma. However, crimes involving children often are prosecuted more severely and the crimes are considered even more disgraceful. Fighting the charges is important. Some sexual offenses in Florida specific to children include:
Statutory Rape — According to Florida Statutes § 794.06, a person can be charged with this offense if he or she is 24 years old or older and they penetrate the sexual organs, including oral, anal or vaginal penetration of another person, or engage in sexual activity, with another person who is 16 or 17 years old. A conviction for this offense can result in a felony of the second degree.
Luring or Enticing a Child — This offense is defined as a person 18 or older who entices a child, age 12 or under, into a building for an unlawful purpose according to Florida Statutes § 787.025. This is a first-degree misdemeanor. Luring or enticing a child by someone who already has been convicted of a sexual offense is a felony of the third degree.
Sexual Performance by a Child — Under Florida Statutes § 827.071, if someone knowingly uses or encourages a child less than 18 years of age to engage in a sexual performance, he or she can be convicted of this sexual performance by a child. Most often this is a second-degree felony.
Child Pornography — A person can be charged with this offense if he or she knowingly promotes or uses a minor child under the age of 18 in a sexual performance, according to Florida Statutes § 827.071. A conviction for this offense can result in a felony of the second degree.
The penalties for sexual crimes in Florida vary based on the offense and several other factors, including the age of the victim. In some cases a crime could be a misdemeanor, and in other instances it could be a felony. Some of the possible penalties include:
- Second-degree misdemeanor: Up to 60 days in jail and/or fines up to $500
- First-degree misdemeanor: Up to one year in jail and/or fines up to $1,000
- Third-degree felony: Up to five years in prison and/or fines up to $5,000
- Second-degree felony: Up to 15 years in prison and/or fines up to $10,000
- First-degree felony: Up to 30 years or life in prison and/or fines up to $10,000
- Life felony: Up to life in state prison and/or fines up to $15,000
- Capital felony: Life in prison without parole or death
Potential penalties convicted sexual offenders could face in addition to criminal punishment include:
- Reputation damage
- Loss of employment or inability to find a respectable job
- Inability to find housing
- Destroyed relationships with family members and friends
- Requirements to register as a sex offender for felonies committed against minors
In addition, students could face possible repercussions if they are charged with a sex crime. College campuses throughout the nation handle sexual accusations differently. On some campuses students may only face criminal charges. However, some universities also will reprimand students.
The attorneys at Pumphrey Law can help students at Florida State University (FSU) or Florida A&M University (FAMU) when dealing with the campus punishments as well. The schools often will hold disciplinary hearings to determine the punishment for the students, and your attorney can be present to help you fight for your education.
The Association for the Treatment of Sexual Abusers – This national organization is dedicated to preventing sexual abuse.
Florida Department of Law Enforcement – A Florida governmental agency that promotes public safety by preventing, investigating and solving crimes. The Department is located at:2331 Phillips Road
Tallahassee, Florida 32308
Finding A Tallahassee Sex Crimes Defense Attorney
If you have been charged with a sex crime in Tallahassee, contact the attorneys of Pumphrey Law to discuss the facts of your particular case. An experienced attorney may be able to have your charge completely dismissed or reduced. Our firm has represented those accused of Florida sexual offenses, and can aggressively fight your criminal charge. Contact us at (850) 681-7777 for a consultation about your alleged sex crime.
Article last updated on October 24, 2016.
Attorney Don Pumphrey Jr. is a former prosecutor, former law enforcement officer, and a successful and experienced criminal defense attorney.